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I Stole This Blog Idea!…

December 10, 2010

…but am giving credit where it is due right up front.

I was visiting a fantastic movie site yesterday, ANOMALOUS MATERIAL, when I came across a post entitled “What is Your Worst Movie-Going Experience?”

It is a conversation-starter post that gets people talking about what drives them crazy in theaters, whether it be loud chewers, talkers, seat kickers, or in my case a person with Tourette’s Syndrome. Over at Anomalous I shared two instances and realized I need to share them here as well, along with a third reserved just for you guys and gals, so here they are…

My three worst movie going experiences!

1. Like a lot of Shoobies on this particular day, summer traffic on the Garden State Parkway kept me from the beach. It took me an hour and a half to go thirty miles. I said “screw the beach,” turned around and went to the movies. When I got to the theater, Salt was starting in a few minutes, so in I went. A pair of women entered and sat a few rows in front of me. It seemed one of these woman had Tourette’s Syndrome. All I really knew of Tourette’s was what I had seen in What About Bob, and the infamous line “If I fake it, then I don’t have it.” So this woman really had it, and it was triggered by seeing dogs on-screen. There was this whole scene where Salt is trying to escape her apartment with her dog in tow, and the woman with Tourette’s, loudly, and over the sound of gunfire, would scream “MEOW!” every time she saw the dog. At first it was annoying. I was going to complain, but from where I was sitting I could see her face, and she was enjoying the hell out of this film. Annoyance then shifted to sympathy. This was an early morning show, at about 10am, which is probably the only time she goes so she isn’t thoughtlessly berated by other movie goers. I didn’t complain. This didn’t last the entire film, just the first third or so. She deserved to see the film just as much as me.  I hope she liked it.

2. Years earlier, during a showing of Saving Private Ryan, I had a woman move over to sit next to me so I could explain the film to her…. WTF?! She seemed nice, and had some sort of home made trail mix that she snuck into the theater and even offered to share with me, but it was just weird. You don’t strike up a conversation in a movie!

I got up and went to the bathroom at one point. Upon returning, in an attempt to avoid further conversation, I sat across the theater from the woman. She saw me, gathered her things, and walked over to sit next to me AGAIN! There is a bar right outside this theater that claims to be stuck in some sort of time warp in which it is always Friday. Go there, have a beer and strike up a conversation. Let me watch my movie. Please.

3. The winter of 2003. I live near New York City and people were still on edge from 9-11 (Hell we still are sometimes) and it was all over the news that there was a fuzzy picture taken somewhere in NY of a female terrorist who was possibly on the loose in the NYC area and one of the potential prime targets was possibly the Palisades Center mall, the second largest mall in the country at the time.

So, what did I think about this?

“Holy crap! I bet the Imax Theater will be empty for Matrix Revolutions!”

My wife, then girlfriend, thought I was sort of deranged for going towards the mall rather than away from it. My rationalization was pretty simple.

“Why would this woman go to the target that the news said she was intending to attack? That would be a pretty stupid terrorist. Right?”

So, I went, and I was right. The theater was empty. There were, at most, fifteen people there. However, at the point in the film when Neo ‘died,’ there was a loud BOOM just outside the theater doors. The movie abruptly stopped. It froze on the frame of the evil robot arm lifting Neo up to the sky. Suddenly the lights went out along the aisles and the screen went black. The emergency lights came on, but just as quickly flickered out as well. I was sitting in complete darkness and all I could think was “Crap! Apryl was right! Damn it! Stupid terrorist screwing up my Imax experience!” I sat in the dark for a minute of two. Then some guy yelled from across the dark theater, “Hey….. is everything all right?” The manager walked in with a flashlight and led us out into a mall that was already empty. Everyone ran off to their cars. A transformer blew in the parking lot and killed the power to the building. No terrorist activity here, just a good old power outage. But damnnnnnnn it was frightening.

So, those are my three worst movie experiences, not counting my High School friend Simon throwing up on my shoes during Cabin Boy.

If you have any bad movie theater experiences, I would love to hear them in a comment below, and you should go join in the conversation at ANOMALOUS MATERIAL as well.

Thanks for reading!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Apryl permalink
    December 10, 2010 1:30 pm

    Every time I go to the “big theater” in Clifton, NJ at any time that’s not the first show of the day, is the worst movie experience I have ever had. The one I remember the most, though is the asshole who kept answering his cell phone to tell the person: “I can’t talk…. Nah, I’m in the movies…. Later.” I can’t even remember what movie it was. That’s how much they ruined the movie for me.

    And anyone who texts in the middle of a movie should have a value sized orange soda whipped at his or her head. People are animals.

  2. December 10, 2010 10:50 pm

    I read the first two stories on AM but that third story is awesome! What are the chances that a transformer would blow up on that exact same day 😉 Thanks for the link love Robert.

    • December 11, 2010 8:20 am

      Thanks Castor, for the visit and the understanding of the blog inspiration/theft. Anomalous is an awesome site!

  3. Bubba-Ho-tep permalink
    December 13, 2010 1:17 pm

    I’ve had two really horrible experiences in a movie theater. The first was in the summer of ’07 (I think) I went to see Dragon Wars: D-War. The second was when I went to see House of the Dead.

    • December 13, 2010 7:10 pm

      Thanks for sharing Bubba! Were these bad experience because of the film itself or were there reasons beyond the film. Bad popcorn? Flat soda? Overzealous D-War fans?

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